Saturday 22 December 2012

Plans for Hilary Term: Oxford children's chapter

Hilary term for the Oxford Children's Chapter will begin on 21st January 2013. We will be beginning work on some hand quilted garments, adapted from the patterns shown below. Techniques to be learnt will include turned-edge applique, sashiko and broderie perse.

This commercial pattern suggests buying pre-quilted fabric. We will be improving on it by starting completely from scratch and hand-quilting our own choice of fabrics.

This commercial pattern for unlined waistcoats can easily be adapted for quilted materials.
 We will also be continuing work on the Hope Chests, and making some embroidered napkins to go in them. Naturally the choice of motif will be chosen by each individual, but we could do worse than to attempt something like these!

Italian vintage whitework embroidered needlepoint napkins
Very much looking forward to seeing everyone in the New Year! Happy Christmas!

Monday 17 December 2012

Birmingham children's guild Christmas meeting

Slightly early, I know. Today we had a lovely time making felt stockings, followed by a shared lunch and party games; including a giant pass-the-parcel. Each child got a delightful Christmas book.

Friday 14 December 2012

Oxford children's chapter: last meeting of term

The Oxford Children's Chapter had its last meeting of term on 10th December. It has been a most fruitful term, seeing the completion of many beautiful goldwork Christmas decorations which are being sold to raise funds for our work. The older girls have also been working on making their own blouses from scratch: designing and making the patterns as well as actually constructing the garments. Their knowledge of geometry has improved enormously as a result!

Two of our members made us chocolate chip biscuits to celebrate our efforts.

Marie and Bridget preparing the cookie dough
 Many thanks to Marie and Bridget for this delicious treat! 

The completed delicacies, fresh from the oven

Our plans for next term include quilting jackets and waistcoats and embroidering linen napkins. Roll on Hilary!

Monday 10 December 2012

New Altar Frontal

The Guild of St Clare, Oxford has been hard at work on a commission for a rose-coloured altar frontal, for Fr John Saward of the parish of Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford. Liturgically aware readers will realise that the pressure is on, as it will be needed for Gaudete Sunday - the 16th December.

The altar frontal was almost entirely created by Clare Auty, our matchless seamstress.

Clare Auty pinning the trim on to the frontal

She made it, most appropriately, on her beautiful antique Singer sewing machine, pictured below, which is 74 years old.
Clare Auty's magnificent treadle sewing machine, manufactured in 1938
The gold trim for the frontal is antique, from France. The fabric, which is an almost perfect colour match with the chasuble which Fr John already possesses, is actually upholstery fabric. The frontal is backed with pure linen.

The gold trim being machined into place
We were all able to assist at the final stage, sewing on clips which will attach the frontal on to the altar.

Clare Auty and Amanda Lewin attaching clips to the back of the frontal

Three of us were able to work on the  frontal simultaneously
I did my best to help

We are all looking forward immensely to seeing it in position on Sunday, 16th December, at its home in the church of Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford. It will be used in all the services on Gaudete Sunday: its blessing will take place during the Old Rite Mass at 12 noon.

Friday 30 November 2012

Outing to the V&A

On Monday 26th November the Guild of St Clare children's chapter had its Michaelmas Term outing, which was to the Victoria and Albert Museum. We were very fortunate to be guided round the exhibits by one of the V&A's experts, Anne Howarth. On hearing the name of the Guild she took us to see the Altar of St Clare, originally built for a church in Florence. (I apologise for the poor quality pictures - the V&A was very dimly lit and rather busy which made it difficult!)

The Altar of St Clare
She showed us some remarkable embroidered vestments including a splendid cope decorated with many different saints, worn for Palm Sunday, as well as introducing us to various historical fashions.

Some of the children looking at a medieval tapestry
We've come away with plenty of inspiration for future sewing projects! Many thanks to the V&A for such a historical treat.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Towards Advent

The Guild of St Clare is at Towards Advent today!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Preparing for our Towards Advent stall

The children's chapter in Oxford is hard at work preparing hand-sewn Christmas decorations for our sale at the Towards Advent fair in London next week.

Completing some goldwork Christmas decorations

Hard at work on some Christmas bunting

A young Guild member engaged in Goldwork embroidery

A miniature silk and goldwork banner

The LMS chairman helps us out, cutting some felt with a rotary cutter
To purchase any of our beautiful hand embroidered products come and see us at the Towards Advent Festival, opening at 10.30am on Saturday November 24th in Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London SWI.

Friday 19 October 2012

Children's Chapter outing to the V&A

Here in Oxford we are starting to get excited about our Michaelmas Term outing, which is to the V&A museum in South Kensington.

The Victoria and Albert museum was founded in 1852
We will be given a guided tour round the Fashion department, which houses clothes dating back 400 years. Places cost £10 - book now! We are limited to 25 places.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

National Training Day

We at the Guild of St Clare are very excited to be holding our first National Training Day on 5th January. The Royal School of Needlework is providing the beautiful setting and also the expert tuition of Heather Lewis in Ecclesiastical Goldwork for Beginners. Book early for this treat: places are going fast! To make a reservation or to find out more please get in touch with Lucy Shaw on Attendees must be aged 16 or over.
Goldwork is principally used for ecclesiastical purposes

Hampton Court Palace is home to the Royal School of Needlework
The Royal School of Needlework created the magnificent wedding dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, and designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Our Chaplain's most recent creation

Our chaplain, Fr Bede Rowe, (A Chaplain Abroad), has recently completed this wonderful piece of satin stitch embroidery, which he has appliqued on to a white chasuble. The Guild of St Clare is honoured to have such an accomplished needleworker as its spiritual leader!

Close-up of the embroidery
The chasuble with Fr Bede's needlework appliqued on

Monday 9 July 2012

Guild of St Clare at Towards Advent

Toward Advent 2011

I'm excited to announce that this year the Guild of St Clare will have a presence at the Towards Advent conference at Westminster Cathedral Hall. We will be selling our own handmade products including Christmas tree decorations, Missal covers, bags and lots more besides from the Latin Mass Society stall. Look out for us there!

Monday 18 June 2012

Outing to the Beckford Silk Centre

On 18th June the Oxford Chapter visited the Beckford Silk Centre in the Cotswolds. The centre is one of only a couple of places left in the UK where silk is screen-printed by hand. The trip was fully booked and greatly enjoyed by all.

Some of the audience preparing for the introduction to the tour

We were shown round by Anne Hopkins, the daughter of the founder of the Beckford Silk Centre

We were able to watch the screen-printing in progress. Here, the printer is pushing the dye over the screen to create a pattern on the silk underneath.

The screens act as very sophisticated stencils, and every design has a screen for every colour. Thus the screen-printers build the design onto the silk colour by colour till the picture is complete. 

Here the screen printer is creating a series of silk scarves which have been commissioned by a museum. After being printed, the colour will be fixed by steaming, and then the silk will be ironed and cut and finally each scarf will be hand finished by ladies living in the village of Beckford.

After completing the tour and making some purchases in the shop, the Guild members all enjoyed picnics in the bright sunshine on the lawn outside the centre.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Restoration work at the Guild of St Clare, London

The Guild of St Clare, London has been hard at work restoring sets of vestments for use at the Traditional Community of St Bede's, Clapham Park. Here are two of the members with the chasuble from the red set which they completed earlier this year.